In what proved to be a one-sided contest, Chepauk Super Gillies thrashed VB Thiruvallur Veerans by 41 runs at the MA Chidambaram Stadium and booked their spot in the semi-finals.
star performer Ashwath Mukunthan, who finished with figures of 5 for 17 on debut, became the second bowler after L Balaji to take a five-wicket haul in the tournament.Earlier, Gillies who won the toss and elected to bat first got off to a flier thanks to half-centuries from KH Gopinath and Vasanth Saravanan.
But it was an outstanding opening spell by Mukunthan which set up the win for Gillies.A no-ball in the first over proved to be costly for Veerans as Abhishek Tanwar broke through the defences of opener Gopinath when the latter was on seven.Joy turned to despair in a matter of seconds as Gopinath was later called back after it was declared as no-ball.
He fully capitalized in that life-line and build a partnership with Thalaivan Sargunam, smashing Veerans bowlers all around the park.A soft dismissal saw the back of Thalaivan Sargunam as he was dismissed on 13 after poking the ball back to the bowler.
As the power-play produced 48 runs for the loss of one wicket, the second-wicket partnership between Gopinath and Saravanan yielded 86 runs off 66 balls.A late charge from Veerans saw them bounce back after the Gillies had set up the perfect platform to launch a late blitz.
Gillies innings consisted of eight sixes and seven boundaries.Next up, Veerans got off to a stuttering start in their run-chase as Mukunthan picked up three wickets in the power-play to cause early damage.Kavins wicket was Mukunthans first and the celebratory jig that ensued was worth celebrating!
He also dismissed Hari Nishaanth in the second over off a slower delivery with Veerans skipper Baba Aparajith being his third.That was probably the turning point as the in-form Aparajith fell for a duck thanks to a brilliant low diving catch by Sargunam.Veerans could only score 37 runs in their first ten overs and also lost five wickets in the bargain.
Alexander R continued his great form with the ball and picked up two wickets.
Though R Rohit and Malolan Rangarajan offered some late resistance still Veerans were never able to recover from the early blows and crashed to a heavy defeat.
Brief scores: Chepauk Super Gillies 154/3 in 20 overs (KH Gopinath 62 not-out, 55b, 4x4, 2x6, Vasanth Saravanan 54, 36b, 2x4, 4x6; Lakshmi Narayanan 2/31) VB Thiruvallur Veerans 113/9 in 20 overs (Malolan Rangarajan 23, 23b, 3x4, R Rohit 34 not-out, 18b, 3x4, 2x6 ; Aswath Mukunthan 5/17, Alexander R 2/33) by 41 runs
Photo Journalist: Vinodh Mathew